Cuddly Lenihan

The BBC has been leading its bulletins this morning on the latest statement by Minister Lenihan.  He gave an extensive interview on the influential Today  programme on Radio 4.  Listeners can make their own assessment of its tone by listening to it at

You might be alarmed to learn that the BBC headlines the interview on its website as “Lenihan: Ireland ‘can’t print money'”.  Is the Minister restarting his midnight visits to Dave McWilliams gaff?

8 replies on “Cuddly Lenihan”

Ludicrous statement from the man who rejoiced like a naughty schoolboy in signing IOUs for Anglo.

In his 10.00 press conference he was feeling sorry for himself saying that he did not have the monetary resources of the Uk and the BoE at his disposal though he did later pay tribute (metaphorically as well as literally) to the ECB.

Since when has control over monetary policy been a factor in dealing with the banks?

He had better get back on the garlic.

Not very convincing at all.

Quite patronising. Lenihan was clearly hoping that with a morning BBC interview he would reassure people outside Ireland that he knows what he’s doing. But even those listeners with no clue about the situation on the ground would not have been reassured by this interview; personally, I found his ability to ‘re-write history’ to be simply breathtaking!

At about a minute and thirty seconds in, Lenihan says

“[besides Anglo Irish] we have two other major retail banks”

Was Ango ever a retail bank? I guess it depends on your definition of ‘retail bank’ but loans to developers is not the same as checking accounts for Granny Murphy…

@ Ribbit

No, he knows it was not a retail bank, he admits that Anglo was a “monoline property security lender” with total exposure to monoline loans secured property. Loans that were guaranteed to become subprime. If he knew all this and surely he must have known at least that much, why did he not realise that property going through the floor, 650 ghost estates, empty landmark buildings and rafts of vacant hotels could yield nothing only fire sales. The fire sales will start in earnest as NAMA tries to earn a crust and then the real scale and folly of the Lenihan economic disaster strategy will be revealed in all its glory. Of course, bond yields of almost 7% and cancelled bond auctions make it ever more difficult for the government spin doctors.

If anyone saw Micheal Martin talking on Bloomberg, i thought he did a tolerably good job of presenting our prospects in a reassuring light.

On RTE he insisted that the meaning of his cheapest bail-out in the world “so far” was that it had cost us nothing up to that point and not that it was the cheapest bail-out by any country so far.

Michael Martin was very good.

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